Reviews of Dark Fiction

Lullabies For Suffering edited by Mark Matthews

Heartbreaking, haunting and memorable, these LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING will stay with you for a long, long time.

Here we have a collection of 6 novellas, all of them from authors I’ve read before, so I was eager to start listening when my request to Audiobook Boom was approved.

Kealan Patrick Burke’s SOMETIMES THEY SEE ME: When the lives of two addicts collide and interrupt suicide attempts, you know the story won’t end well. Stories of addiction rarely do.

Caroline Kepnes’ MONSTERS: This novella features Ms. Kepnes’ excellent writing style and despite the addictions on display within, I couldn’t help but come away from this tale with a feeling of (misplaced?) hope for the last two standing.

Mark Matthews’ LIZARD went off the rails almost from the get-go. All I can say is I felt so sorry for almost every character in this story. I have been reading Mark’s work for many years now, because he writes about addiction from a place that he really knows. I think his experiences make his work that much more powerful and poignant.

John F.D. Taff’s THE MELTING POINT OF MEAT talks about a different kind of addiction, but that doesn’t make his story any less difficult to read.

Gabino Iglesias’ BEYOND THE REEF was my favorite tale in this collection because it was just so damn different from the others. Not only is this an addiction tale, but it also has a distinct Lovecraftian feel to it that I just adored.

Mercedes Yardley’s LOVE IS A CREMATORIUM broke my damn heart. First with its depiction of family “love” between a father and daughter, but also a dark study of that crazy love that happens to some of us in high school. What would one teen do for another to help them escape a terrible home life situation? Was that the right thing to do? Of all the dark tales here, this is the one that made me cry. Neither of these kids started out with bad intentions-she left because of her dad, and he left because he loved her. What happens to them? You’ll have to read this and see, but be sure to have some tissues nearby.

The narrator, Linda Jones, is one with which I was not familiar prior to listening to this collection. She’s terrific and brought these tales home with humanity and care.

Overall, this is an incredible collection of stories from authors that are currently the best in the business as far as I’m concerned. Some names are bigger than others, some are more famous than others, but every one of them can write the hell out of a story and that’s exactly what they do here.

HIGHLY recommended! 4.5/5 Stars!

*Thank you to Audiobook Boom for the audio version of this book which I freely chose to review.*

**Originally posted on my old blog 2.4.2020**

Lullabies For Suffering Book Cover Lullabies For Suffering
ed. by Mark Matthews
Dark Fiction
Wicked Run Press


Addiction starts like a sweet lullaby sung by a trusted loved one. It washes away the pains of the day and wraps you in the warmness of the womb where nothing hurts and every dream is possible. Yet soon enough, this warm state of bliss becomes a cold shiver, the ecstasy and dreams become nightmares, yet we can’t stop listening to the lullaby. We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.A powerful list of talent has woven tales featuring the insidious nature of addiction—damaged humans craving for highs and wholeness but finding something more tragic and horrific on the other side. Come, listen to these Lullabies for Suffering.

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